Some of Fort Lewis College students' most rewarding experiences and achievements don't make it onto their resumes or applications for graduate school or jobs --  studying abroad, completing an internship or volunteer experience, making the dean’s list, or winning a departmental award or scholarship -- even though these may be the most meaningful, educational, and career-preparing accomplishments on the way to earning their degrees.

To solve that problem, enter Merit, a web-based program that records and promotes students' educational status, awards, and achievements.

Achievements listed on students' Merit profiles are selected and backed by the college, giving the profile pages the credibility of a resume. And since, according to a study by readMedia, producers of Merit software, 75 percent of employers research prospective employees online, strong and positive online profiles boost students' and graduates' marketability for internships, graduate programs, and professional positions.

“We believe that one of the best ways to raise awareness of Fort Lewis College student achievement is through word-of-mouth by the students themselves," says Lindsay Nyquist, Social Media Coordinator and manager of FLC’s Merit program. "Merit allows us to highlight some of the things our students are accomplishing, and encourages them to share their achievements on the social media platforms that they are already using.”

Here's how it works: The college uses Merit software to publish online stories about specific student achievements to individual students' profiles at FLC’s Merit page. Students can then easily share profiles and achievement stories on their social networks via sharing functions on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Merit also sends press releases based on the stories to students' hometown newspapers and media outlets. In addition, parents and friends of the student can “follow” them on Merit, receiving email updates whenever the student is recognized for a new accomplishment.

"Merit is an important resource to support and validate student contributions, a confluence of social media and student involvement in co-curricular activities," says Leadership Center Director Mark Mastalski. "Students will appreciate the ability to share their involvement through a social media, but Merit will also help students track their involvement and promote their experiences in a way that employers and graduate schools will find useful.”

 Want to use Merit?

STUDENTS
Go to FLC’s Merit page
Search for your name in the search field
Click “Is this you?” to claim your page
Add a profile picture and additional activities
PARENTS & FRIENDS
Go to FLC’s Merit page
Search for your student’s name in the search field
Click the “Follow” button to set up an account to receive updates

 

Learn more at Fort Lewis College's Merit page or contact Lindsay Nyquist with questions.